Notable R&B singer, Case, recently pulled back the curtain on his career on an episode of TV One’s Unsung. The episode featured celebrities such as R&B singer Ginuwine, comedian Rodney Perry, and Tamir “Nokio” Ruffin of Dru Hill, who all commented on Case’s career.
Known for singles like “Touch Me, Tease Me” and “Missing You”, Case was on top during the late 90s and early 2000s. During the one-hour special, viewers got the chance to see exactly what happened behind that scenes that led to the downfall of his career.
Case was always known for his raw singing voice and thug-like appearance, but no one would have guessed that he was really living the thug life. At the start of the episode, he describes the beginning of his career and how he was kicked out of his childhood home for choosing not to conform to the religious beliefs of his family. Now on his own, Case turned to a life of sporadic crime to survive.
He talked about dealing drugs and robbing people to make ends meet. Obviously, back then R&B singers opted for songs about love and heartbreak, and left lyrics concerning street life to the rappers.
Lyfe Jennings is the only known R&B singer who discusses the struggles of being poor and choosing a life of crime in his music; particularly in the song “Stick Up Kid” from his debut album, Lyfe 268-192.
This walk down memory lane took some interesting turns, however, the best one was Case’s love affair with the Queen of Hip-Hop and R&B herself, Mary J. Blige. During that time Case was engaged to the mother of his first child and Mary was dating K-Ci of Jodeci.
The two had a full blown secret relationship that ended after Wendy Williams blasted their business all over the radio. Back then the popular television host was a popular radio personality known for getting all the good dirt; it seems not much has changed.
Towards the end of his career Case was caught up in a never-ending cycle of partying. He frequently surrounded himself with strippers, liquor, and drugs in his Atlanta home; cocaine and ecstasy were his drugs of choice. Case describes being so drunk that he accidentally shot himself during an argument with a girlfriend.
He claims that he didn’t think that there were any bullets in the chamber. Again, here’s an R&B singer with rapper tendencies; maybe Case can counsel Chris Brown. They’ve both basically lived the same life except for the fact that Case has never been as successful as Chris, and Chris can never be more thuggish than Case. It’s not far-reaching to think that Case might’ve hit a woman before, no one would be surprised.
Case later left the music industry around 2006 after changes at his record label, Def Jam, caused his album release to stall. The record company held on to the album for almost two years, and out of frustration Case fought to leave and take the unreleased album with him.
Losing his love of music caused Case to exit the music industry altogether, but only temporarily. In 2009 he released The Rose Experience, the same album that Def Jam wouldn’t put out. It became his fourth studio album and was released under an independent label.
Fortunately, Case is now married to the mother of his third child. He has been living in Atlanta ever since he relocated from New York to be near his other two kids. Case’s story is one that consisted of struggle, success, and strife, and now he has managed to turn his life around and get back to making music.
He will always be remembered as the man who gave Beyoncé her first starring role as his love interest in the music video for his single “Happily Ever After”.